Butterbur successful in helping hayfever - works as well as prescription antihistamine

August 23, 2005

Seasonal allergic rhinitis also known as hayfever affects millions of Americans. Symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, itchy throat and coughing. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 330 patients with hayfever were split into 3 groups. The first group received Butterbur extract (Petasites) twice a day, the second group received the prescription antihistamine fexofenadine (known as Allegra in the USA) and the third group received inactive placebo. Both the study participants and their physicians stated that the Butterbur and the antihistamine were fairly equal in effectiveness, and that both were significantly superior to placebo for relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. The study is published in the current issue of the journal Phytotherapy Research.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

We recently reported a study where pomegranate polyphenols decreased thickening of the carotid artery intima- media thickening by up to 30% after one year in patients with carotid artery stenosis (narrowing) whereas the intima-media of the control group increased by 9% during the same time period. The study was published in the June 2004 issue of the journal Clinical Nutrition.

Resveratrol may have significant ability to protect from breast cancer

Researchers analyzed the relation between dietary intake of Resveratrol and breast cancer risk using data from a case-controlled study in Switzerland. 369 cases of breast cancer were compared to 602 control subjects. Women with an intermediate intake of Resveratrol had a 50% decreased risk of developing breast cancer, while women with the highest intake of Resveratrol, versus women with the lowest intake had a 61% decreased risk of developing breast cancer. Deriving the Resveratrol from red grapes in the diet decreased the risk by 45% with the highest intake, but deriving the Resveratrol from wine lacked this protective effect. The effects of other ingredients in the fruit did not explain the ability of Resveratrol to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. The study is published in the April 2005 issue of the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, the official journal of the European Cancer Prevention Organization.